Stanley, dean of the school of humanities, arts and sciences at St. Catherine University, argues that Butler’s dystopian works “jarred people into recognizing that she’s been doing this work all along. She’d been trying to tell us that if we do not make changes, this is what’s going to happen.” Photo by Rebecca Slater ’10 / By Rebecca Studios
Tarshia Stanley, dean of the School of Humanities Arts and Sciences at St. Catherine University, was recently quoted in a Smithsonian Magazine story profiling Octavia E. Butler. Butler, regarded by many as the vanguard of the Afrofuturism genre in literature, authored Parable of the Sower, a work which became the keystone in the University's 2018-19 Integrated Learning Series. Stanley also serves as president of the Octavia E. Butler Society.
Parable of the Sower, which first published in 1993, reached the New York Times' best-seller list in 2020.
Butler's contributions to futuristic literature will be recognized at the upcoming Smithsonian exhibition, "Futures." The Olivetti typewriter that Butler gave to the Smithsonian in 2004 will represent Butler’s life in the show.